Cold case: Police pull guy from Bed-Stuy bodega’s ice machine after attempted robbery

Brooklyn Paper
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What a mess: A suspect ransacked the store on Dec. 23 before getting stuck in the ice machine.
Soda anyone?: The suspect tore apart the store after breaking in.
No more cash: Police investigated the Howard Avenue bodega after arresting the suspect, who broke the automated teller machine.

Not cool!

Cops pulled a man out of an ice machine that he hid out in after allegedly burglarizing a Bedford-Stuyvesant bodega on Saturday, then immediately slapped cuffs on the guy’s wrists.

The 45-year-old suspect broke into the Howard Avenue store between Putnam and Jefferson avenues while it was closed two days before Christmas, before tearing apart its automated-teller machine in an attempt to steal the cash from within, authorities said.

But when the deli owner’s uncle walked by the shop around 5 pm and saw its lights on and the man standing by its cash dispenser, he called police, according to bodega-owner Darryl Frias.

The suspect unsuccessfully attempted to flee, and then leapt right into the freezer — which did not have any ice in it at the time — where, in a bit of sweet irony, he got stuck, Frias said.

“He didn’t fit — he turned his back into the freezer and threw himself backwards in a way that he couldn’t get back out,” he said. “They actually had to break down the ice machine to take him out.”

Frias hasn’t been able to reopen the bodega because he’s still cleaning up the ransacked storefront and dealing with his insurance company — two inconveniences he said are less bothersome because cops nabbed the guy.

“He destroyed everything,” the store owner said. “ But as long as he got caught I’m happy.”

Police recovered a screwdriver and chisel from the suspect’s jacket pocket, along with another bag of tools that included a hammer, as well as stolen light bulbs, belts, and a lock from the store, according to a rep from the district attorney’s office, who said the man was arraigned on Tuesday and is being held on a $30,000 bail.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Updated 5:51 pm, July 9, 2018
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